In 2017, more than half of new generation sources brought online in the U.S. were renewables, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Historically, hydroelectric power provided the largest share of renewable energy in the U.S. If the growth of wind generation continues as projected, it will surpass hydroelectric power in 2018 for the first time.
Renewable energy is an important part of our strategy for a clean energy future. Our new sustainability goal is to increase regulated renewable energy on our system by approximately 8,000 MW (per our integrated resource plans and pending regulatory approval) by 2030 and continue to expand competitive, contracted renewables. This goal supports our energy transition sustainability goals and directly supports our carbon reduction goals.
As technology advances, we envision universal solar or wind projects that incorporate low-cost energy storage to minimize or smooth intermittency on the grid.
AEP is further developing its renewable portfolio within our Generation and Marketing business segment. Activities include working directly with wholesale and large retail customers to provide tailored solutions based upon market knowledge, technology innovations and deal structuring. This could include distributed solar, wind, combined heat and power, energy storage, waste heat recovery, energy efficiency, peaking generation and other forms of cost-reducing energy technologies. AEP’s Energy Supply team also develops and/or acquires large-scale renewable generation projects that are backed with long-term contracts.
Although many states set voluntary or mandated renewable portfolio standards, the driving forces today behind renewable development are that it is economical and many customers want clean energy at a reasonable cost. And, they are asking their energy companies to work with them to make it happen.
As technology advances, we envision universal solar or wind projects that incorporate low-cost energy storage to minimize or smooth intermittency on the grid. We are working with some of our large customers on this type of approach because it can provide a dual benefit of clean energy and resilience for the customer and the grid.
For example, AEP is a member of the World Resources Institute’s Clean Power Council. This group of utilities and some of their largest commercial and industrial customers are engaged in a two-year collaboration to enable rapid deployment of a low carbon energy supply through innovative and mutually beneficial solutions.
We believe we are best positioned to meet our customers’ clean energy needs.
We are also committed to being agile to meet the different needs of all of our customers. It’s important to AEP that we achieve the economies of scale that individual customers cannot, because we can ensure universal access to clean energy while realizing the same environmental benefits and providing more effective integration with the grid.
We have the knowledge and expertise to cost-effectively and efficiently develop universal solar projects to expand access to clean energy to more customers rather than the few who can afford private solar panels. We are also forming strategic partnerships to build upon our expertise and offer more choices to our customers.
We invite customers, large and small, to join us in creating solar solutions that are low-cost and provide universal access to all customers, including those without the financial means or those who don’t have “solar friendly” property.